By Megan Tullos |

My morning routine freshman and sophomore year was hectic. I’d wake up around 40 minutes before my class, throw my hair up in a bun and grab a granola bar on the way out the door — if I remembered to eat breakfast at all.

This routine worked for me. After all, I kept it up for two whole years. But this year, I started getting really fatigued and feeling generally not great during the day. I’ve always been a high-strung person and my days just continued to feel more and more chaotic. 

Two whole years of ignoring my body’s needs and surviving on coffee had finally caught up with me, and for the sake of my physical and mental health, something in my life needed to change. 

Getting up early was about the last thing I wanted to start doing. I need my sleep and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of cutting it short. However, it was the first thing that was recommended to me by my friends and family.

“It’ll be great! You’ll have so much more time and energy in your day!” and “Getting up early actually makes you less tired” were all things I was promised would happen if I started getting up an hour earlier. I was hardly convinced, but I was desperate for a sense of balance in my life, so I gave it a try. 

I hate to admit it, but getting up early is one of the best changes I’ve ever made. My physical health is a lot better. Making breakfast eliminated that nauseous mid-morning feeling from having nothing in my stomach but coffee, my sleep schedule is regular, and I’m significantly more energized throughout the day. I love taking time in the mornings to light a candle and actually enjoy getting ready or play with my roommate’s dog, Milo, for a little bit. It starts my day off so much more positively than a rush out the door.

I’m not saying that waking up early will solve all your problems or fix the feelings of stress that come with college, but I am saying that making time for yourself and your needs on a day to day basis is valuable and important. For me, that time is in the mornings. I am certainly not perfect, and there are still days when I run out the door at the last minute, or slip up and forget to eat breakfast, but having a general routine has become so important to me. 

It takes a while to make this transition, so I do have a few tips. For me, the key was consistency. Once I decided to become a morning person, it was important that I woke up early every weekday, even slipping a little made it easy to get back into my old routine. I also started making coffee at home and drinking it while I get ready, that cup of coffee gives me something to look forward to when I get out of bed.

Moving to a new schedule is never an easy change, but if I can do it, so can you. If you would have told me three months ago that my favorite time of the day would be before 9 a.m. I wouldn’t have believed you, but I’m so glad that it is.